Duke Energy shutting down North Carolina nuke plant ahead of Florence

17 September, 2018, 06:49 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • The storm is racing towards the US

Duke Energy said in a press release Thursday that the two units on the site are systematically being shut down by plant staff.

The USA's nuclear power plants have weathered hurricanes before.

Nuclear plants have procedures that require they shut a safe amount of time before hurricane force winds of at least 74 miles per hour are expected to reach the site.

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, triggering unsafe flooding, toppling trees, cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses while causing at least five deaths.

Hurricane Florence has lost some speed, retreating from its peak as a Category 4 storm, but officials warn it remains risky.

Federal regulators later required all USA nuclear plants be reinforced against earthquakes and flooding. "We've got inspectors at every plant". A spokesman for the agency said the facility was built to withstand extreme natural events - including hurricanes and floods.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) has started to shut its Brunswick nuclear power plant in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to strike the coast near the plant on Friday.

The commission on Wednesday said it's sending additional inspectors to plants in North and SC and is activating its regional incident response center in Atlanta, to provide around-the-clock staff support during the storm.

Duke officials watching the storm's track on Thursday chose to close down the Brunswick plant, which is located about four miles from the coast. But Duke Energy Corp and the NRC have gone back and forth about whether the facility meets the new requirements, as the plant was originally created to protect itself against only 3.6 feet of storm surge.

"They were safe then".

Smith stated that the reactor buildings at Brunswick are virtually impenetrable, with concrete and rebar walls several feet thick.

With a major storm bearing down on these power plants, some thoughts are turning back to 2011, when Japan's Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant was impacted in the wake of the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami.

This is according to data as of 5 a.m. EST from tweets North and SC emergency management agencies. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) regional incident response centre in Atlanta, Georgia will provide round-the-clock support during the storm. "If it hadn't been for Fukushima, that vulnerability would not have been identified".


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